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Frequently Asked Questions
What is Bountysource?
Bountysource is the funding platform for open-source software. Users can improve the open-source projects they love by creating/collecting bounties and pledging to fundraisers.
What types of projects are allowed on Bountysource?
Any type of Open-Source or Free Software (as in speech) projects are allowed. Generally speaking, any software licenses approved by either the Open Source Initiative or the Free Software Foundation are acceptable.
How does Bountysource work?
There are two main functions: Bounties and Salt Campaigns.
How Bounties work:
- Users fund bounties on open issues or feature requests they want to see addressed.
- Developers create solutions which closes the issue and claim the bounty on Bountysource.
- Backers can accept or reject the claim.
- If accepted, Bountysource pays the bounty to the developer.
How Salt campaigns work:
- Anyone can come to Bountysource and create or claim their project's team (GitHub Organizations are automatically created as teams on Bountysource).
- Team members spread the word about their campaign. Activity is also listed "Leaderboard style" on salt.bountysource.com.
- Anyone can go to salt.bountysource.com and pledge a monthly recurring amount, or provide a one-off contribution.
I'm an admin/manager/committer on a project. What's my role in all of this?
The more developers there are working on issues within your project, the more code/solutions you will receive. You don't need to do anything out of the ordinary - just let your community know about the bounties, check for and merge code as normal, and we take care of the rest.
I'm worried about introducing money into my community.
This is a reasonable hesitation. However, money has already been a part of open-source for decades. Many open-source contributors are paid by their employers to work on open-source. Many projects already have donation buttons. Many open-source developers have consulting businesses around their projects. Ultimately, the motivations behind open-source contributions already vary widely. The easiest way to make sense of it all is to focus on the code itself. At the end of the day, if high-quality code is being contributed to a project, the incentives behind the code should be irrelevant.
What is a bounty?
A bounty is a cash reward offered for development. In the case of Bountysource, this ties directly to an open issue in the system.
Who can post a bounty?
Anybody with PayPal, Bitcoin, or funds in their Bountysource account (such as earning money from a previous bounty). Note: Google has discontinued Google Wallet for Digital Goods, so we are no longer able to offer that as a payment option.
What can I put bounties on?
You can create bounties on any open issue within any open-source project using an issue tracker we support. Currently, Bountysource supports GitHub, Bugzilla, Google Code, Jira, Trac, LaunchPad, Pivotal, and MantisBT issue trackers. If there's a tracker not listed here that you'd like to see supported, you can create or comment on the issue of the tracker in question here.
What does it cost to post a bounty?
There are no fees associated with posting a bounty. For example, to post a $500 bounty, you will be charged $500. For more information on our fee structure, see our Pricing page.
How are Bitcoin bounties handled?
All transactions are processed and stored as US Dollar. Any non-USD payment (including Bitcoin) is converted in realtime to USD. Bountysource uses Coinbase for BTC payment processing and relies on their service for immediate conversion to USD. Cash out requests are converted to the chosen currency, if applicable, at the time the request is processed.
Do I have to be affiliated with a project in order to put a bounty on an issue?
No. Anybody can put a bounty on any issue, regardless of their relationship with the project.
Do I have to be affiliated with a project in order to claim a bounty on an issue?
Also no, at least as far as Bountysource itself is concerned. Any quality control for whether to accept a fix is the responsibility of the maintainers for the given project. This includes whether affiliation with the project counts for having the fix accepted or not.
Does 100% of the bounty go to the developer?
The developer who solves the issue will receive the full bounty amount in their Bountysource account. These funds can be used to create more bounties, donate to teams, or pledge fundraisers. If a developer wishes to cash out their balance there will be a 10% fee.
Can several people put bounties on the same issue?
Yes! That is ideal. A $50 bounty from one person might not be appealing, but a $2,000 bounty from 25 people would be!
What happens after I post a bounty?
We monitor the issue until it's in a fixed/resolved state. After the issue is resolved, the developer who solved the issue can come to Bountysource to claim the bounty. If you're a Backer, we'll keep you informed (via email) of any Claim activity on the issue.
How are claims processed?
When a bounty claim is submitted by a developer, the claim is put into a two week verification period. Backers are notified by email and can then accept or reject the claim.
- If all Backers vote to accept the claim, it is processed immediately and the developer is awarded the bounty.
- If any Backer fails to accept the claim, it remains in the two week waiting period.
- If any Backer has an issue with the claim, they can reject it. Claims cannot be paid out until the dispute is resolved and the rejected status is lifted.
What if I'm unsatisfied with the solution to an issue I've backed?
After a claim is submitted, you will have two weeks to open any disputes you may have.
How can I keep track of all the bounties I've posted?
You can view all of the issues you've backed via your Activity page.
An issue I've backed has been closed. When will the solution be made available to the public?
We have no control over when a project makes a new release. We award a bounty once code has been merged into the project. The rest is up to project owners and committers.
What happens if an issue I've backed is closed without resolution?
If the issue was closed because it was a duplicate of another issue, we will transfer the bounty to the appropriate issue.
If the issue was closed as a "won't fix", or is deemed not in line with the project's goals, the bounty is refunded.
If I posted a bounty using team funds, where does the refund go?
Refunds will go back into the team account.
How do you know a project committer will accept any pull requests at all?
We don't guarantee this, but one of the main points of open-source software and making code public is to foster improvement. Committers are always monitoring pull requests, and they likely will accept any and all code they feel is of quality.
Can I receive a refund for a bounty I posted?
If you posted a bounty and decided you want a refund, or to reallocate the funds to another issue, you may contact us for support. Please note if that if you wish to take your refund out of the system, the withdrawal fee still applies (see Pricing page).
How can I cancel or change my monthly Salt contribution?
Salt contributions can be managed from https://salt.bountysource.com/settings/support_levels
How do I receive payment?
If you have funds in your personal or team Bountysource account (such as earning a Bounty or through a team contribution), you may request a cash out. You can request your cash out payment as US Bank Check, Paypal, or Bitcoin.
What information do you collect prior to cash out?
As part of the cash out process we require a full name, address, and email address. We may also require that you fill out a W-8/W-9 form for tax obligations (see "Do I have to pay taxes on bounties I collect?") below.
Do I have to pay taxes on bounties I collect?
If you are a United States citizen or resident and payments made to you are more than $600 for the year, we are required to issue you a Form 1099 to report the payments, which will require you to complete a Form W-9. If you are not a United States citizen or resident, you may be asked to complete a W-8 before we process your cash out request. You should consult your tax advisor as to the taxability of the payments. This is not legal advice and we are not liable for any errors in tax reporting on your part.
I submitted a cash out request. When will I be paid?
Cash out requests are processed manually by a volunteer-run team. Generally speaking, cash outs are run on Friday or over the weekend. We aim to process all requests submitted before the start of Friday (Pacific Time).
Note: The timing here can vary substantially based on volunteer availability. If your request is still pending after a week or two please send us a support request and poke it occasionally until somebody can get to it
I chose to be paid in a non-USD currency (e.g. Bitcoin). When will the conversion happen and what is the rate?
Conversions happen in real-time the moment cash out requests are processed by the Bountysource team. Conversions are done by our payment processors, currently Coinbase for BTC.
Have any further questions? Contact us!